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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat oranges?

Yes (they’re loaded with nutrients).

There’s something special about peeling open a fresh, juicy orange with its signature sweet, slightly acidic taste. It’s no wonder that your dog sneaks closer and closer to you as you tear back the peel. And can you blame them? Oranges aren’t only tasty, but they’re also full of nutrients that are good for dogs.

(Even though oranges are generally safe for dogs, you should always consult your vet before introducing new foods to your pet’s diet.)

Are oranges good for dogs?

The following benefits of oranges are great to incorporate into your pup's diet. However, occasional bites here and there aren't enough to drastically improve their well-being:

  • Vitamin C: supports the immune system, helps with healthy aging, offers an energy boost
  • Potassium: offers an energy boost, maintains nerve and muscle health
  • Fiber: promotes a healthy gut and helps dogs feel full

Are oranges bad for dogs?

While oranges are full of several beneficial nutrients, they should be served in moderation because of their high sugar and citrus content. Too much sugar can cause obesity and oral health issues, while citrus contains harmful essential oils. As a general rule, treats (including oranges) should only make up 10% of your dog's total daily calories. Your veterinarian can help you determine proper portions based on your pet's specific needs.

When introducing new foods to your dog, it’s always smart to have an emergency preparedness plan in place in case they experience a reaction. Some quick steps to get you started are:

  • Write down the phone numbers for poison control, local 24-hour emergency pet hospitals and animal ambulances in your area.
  • Put together a pet emergency kit including latex gloves, an information card with your vet’s address and phone number and towels.
  • Practice for emergencies by familiarizing your pet with riding in the car.

RELATED: Can dogs eat pineapple?

How to serve your dog oranges

Can dogs eat orange peels?

When serving your dog an orange, be sure to remove the peel, seeds and stem because the citrus oil can cause diarrhea, vomiting and skin irritation. If your pup does ingest the peel, seeds or stem, know that toxicity levels are generally low, but it’s smart to look out for an upset stomach. (Serious consequences only happen when large quantities are eaten.) If the symptoms worsen, contact your vet.

Can puppies eat oranges?

Oranges are safe for puppies, too (minus the peel and plant material). However, talk to your vet before treating your puppy — they’re still growing, which means their nutritional needs are different from adult dogs.

Happy snacking

When served correctly, oranges are a safe, sweet treat for pups. The next time you’re peeling apart an orange, feel free to share a safe bite — or two — with your lucky dog.

We're confident that oranges aren't the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series "Can dogs eat … ?" to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what's fair game.

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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